Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Austin Dempster
Designation: Architect
Born: 14 August 1892
Died: 1956
Bio Notes: John Austin Dempster was born on 14 August 1892 and studied at the Glasgow School of Architecture from 1908, serving a five-year apprenticeship with Hamilton Neil. He served in the armed forces during the First World War and thereafter, in 1919, he moved to Lancaster to join the landscape architect Thomas Hayton Mawson as chief assistant. He passed the final exam in 1920 and was admitted ARIBA late that year or early the next, his sole proposer being Alexander McGibbon. Soon afterwards, in 1922, he commenced practice as a principal at St Catherine Street, Westminster, entering into partnership with Percy Charles Boddy (born 1880). Together they secured the commission for Topsham Town Hall, Devon in competition, and designed several large houses, as well as office blocks in England and Scotland which have yet to be identified.

The partnership appears to have been dissolved in 1924 when Dempster became architect to Bethnal Green Borough Council. Around 1928 he was appointed senior architect to the Miners' Welfare Committee, having charge of their work in Scotland and the North of England, although based in an office in London. He held this position until c.1938 when he was succeeded by Donald Denoon Jack. In this capacity he was responsible for all the Committee's work in the area, and in particular for the erection of some 50 pithead baths, including the exceptional example at Cardowan which echoes the design of Hilversum Town Hall, and the designs for which were exhibited at the RSA and the Brussels Exhibition of 1935. By 1936 the total value of these works for the Committee amounted to around 1,000,000.

He was elected FRIBA on 20 July 1936, his proposers being Thomas Smith Tait and John Henry Forshaw, the latter being in charge of the general direction of the Miners' Welfare Committee's building programme throughout the United Kingdom. Dempster published papers including an article entitled 'The Architect', in the 'Architects' Journal' for the RIBA conference in Glasgow in 1935, and 'Modern Industrial Architecture' in the 'Glasgow Herald' in January 1936.

Dempster would appear to have died between April and June 1956.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2St Catherine Street, Westminster, London, EnglandBusiness19221924(?) 
Item 2 of 2Ballochmyle/21, The Warren, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey, EnglandPrivate1936 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Employment and Training

Employers

The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4Hamilton Neil1908 or 19091913 or 1914Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Thomas Hayton Mawson19191921Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Boddy & Dempster19221924Partner 
Item 4 of 4Miners' Welfare Committee (or Miners' Welfare Commission), Mines Department, (National Coal Board Divisional Welfare)1928c. 1936Senior ArchitectSenior Architect for Scotland and the North of England

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Frederick George Frizzell   In Miners' Welfare Commission office
Item 2 of 2O Parry   Working under John Austin Dempster

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Henry Forshaw20 July 1936for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Alexander McGibbonLate 1920 or early 1921for Associateship
Item 3 of 3Thomas Smith Tait20 July 1936for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4Alexander Cosmo Smith Auld17 June 1952For Fellowship
Item 2 of 4Donald Denoon Jack17 November 1942for Fellowship
Item 3 of 4James Boyd Raeside3 September 1946For Licentiateship
Item 4 of 4Hugh Smith1 May 1951for Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 711928Dalziel and Broomside Colliery, Pithad Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with O Parry
Item 2 of 711929Kingshill Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with O Parry
Item 3 of 711930Auchenlochan Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with O Parry
Item 4 of 711930Blairhall Colliery, pithead bathsBlairhall FifeScotlandOriginal building as Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with F G Frizzel
Item 5 of 711930Fortissat Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with Oparry
Item 6 of 711930Greenrig Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with O Parry
Item 7 of 711930Lochhead Colliery, Pithead BathsEast Wemyss FifeScotlandOriginal building as Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 8 of 711930Loganlea Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with O Parry
Item 9 of 711930Roslin Colliery, Pithad Baths  MidlothianScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with F G Frizzel
Item 10 of 711931Auchengeich Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with O Parry
Item 11 of 711931Bank Colliery, Pithead Baths  AyrshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 12 of 711931Devon Colliery, Pithead Baths  ClackmannanshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 13 of 711931Ferniegaro (or Ferniegair) Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with O Parry
Item 14 of 711931Frances Colliery, Pithead BathsDysart (near) FifeScotlandPresumably responsible, as Senior Architect for Scotland and North of England for the Miners' Welfare Committee
Item 15 of 711931Ramsay Colliery, Pithead bathsLoanhead MidlothianScotlandProbably responsible as he was the Chief Architect to the Committee at this time
Item 16 of 711931Viewpark Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with O Parry
Item 17 of 711931Woolmet Colliery, Pithead Baths  MidlothianScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 18 of 711932Aitken Colliery, Pithead BathsKelty FifeScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 19 of 711932Bothwell Castle Colliery, Pithead BathsBothwell LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 20 of 711932Douglas Colliery, Pithead BathsDouglas Water LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 21 of 711932East Plean Colliery, Pithead BathsEast Plean StirlingshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - uncertain is in conjunction with another more junior architect
Item 22 of 711932Kames Colliery, Pithead Baths  AyrshireScotlandAs Senior Architect for Scotland and North of England for the Miners' Welfare Committee
Item 23 of 711932Kinneil Colliery, Pithead BathsKinneil West LothianScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 24 of 711932Ramsey Colliery, Pithead Baths  FifeScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 25 of 711932Whiterigg Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 26 of 711933Arniston Colliery, pithead baths  MidlothianScotlandOriginal building - as chief architect for the Miners' Welfare Committee
Item 27 of 711933Auchencruive/Auchincruive Colliery, Pithead Baths 4 and 5Annbank AyrshireScotlandAs Senior Architect for Scotland and North of England for the Miners' Welfare Committee
Item 28 of 711933Cardowan Colliery, Pithead BathsCardowan LanarkshireScotlandAs Senior Architect for Scotland and North of England for the Miners' Welfare Committee
Item 29 of 711933Dewshill Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 30 of 711933Fauldhouse Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 31 of 711933Kingshill Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandRebuilding or additions as Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission - with O Parry
Item 32 of 711933Lindsay Colliery, Pithead Baths  FifeScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 33 of 711933Lumphinnans Colliery, Pithead BathsLumphinnans FifeScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 34 of 711933Manor Powis Colliery, Pithead Baths  StirlingshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 35 of 711933Preston Links Colliery, Pithead Baths  East LothianScotlandAs Senior Architect for Scotland and North of England for the Miners' Welfare Committee
Item 36 of 711933Whitehill Colliery, Pithead Baths  AyrshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 37 of 711934Foulshields Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 38 of 711934Lochhead Colliery, Pithead BathsEast Wemyss FifeScotlandExtensions - with Forshaw in overall charge
Item 39 of 711934Michael Colliery, Pithead BathsEast Wemyss FifeScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 40 of 711934Minto Colliery, Pithead BathsLochgelly FifeScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 41 of 711934Pennyvenie Colliery, pithead baths  AyrshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 42 of 711934Polkemmet Colliery, pithead baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs senior architect to the Miners' Welfare Committee
Item 43 of 711934Whitehill Colliery, pithead baths  MidlothianScotlandOriginal building - as Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 44 of 711935Bowhill Colliery, pithead bathsBowhill, Auchterderran FifeScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 45 of 711935Castlehill Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 46 of 711935Pithead BathsEast Wemyss FifeScotlandPresumably responsible, as Senior Architect for Scotland and North of England for the Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 47 of 711935Whitehill Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 48 of 711936Auchencruive Colliery 1 and 3, Pithead Baths  AyrshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 49 of 711936Kames Colliery, Pithead Baths  AyrshireScotlandExtension - as Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 50 of 711936Newcraighall Colliery, Pithead Baths  EdinburghScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 51 of 711937Ardenrigg Colliery, Pithead Baths  StirlingshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 52 of 711937Douglas Castle colliery, pithead baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 53 of 711937Gilmerton Colliery, Pithead Baths  MidlothianScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 54 of 711937Herbertshire Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 55 of 711937Hopetoun Colliery, Pithead Baths  West LothianScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 56 of 711937Houldsworth Colliery, pithead bathsPatna AyrshireScotlandOriginal building? Alterations? As Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 57 of 711937Pirnhall Colliery, Pithead Baths  MidlothianScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 58 of 711937Riddochhill Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 59 of 711937Tillicoultry Colliery, Pithead BathsTillicoultry ClackmannanshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 60 of 711937Wester Auchengeich Colliery, pithead baths  LanarkshireScotlandAlterations? Original building? as Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 61 of 711937Wester Gartshore Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 62 of 711937Whiterigg Colliery, Pithead Baths  LanarkshireScotlandFurther work? - as Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 63 of 711938Benhar Colliery, pithead bathsBenhar LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 64 of 711938Brora Colliery, pithead bathsInverness Inverness-shireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 65 of 711938Fleets Colliery, pithead baths  East LothianScotlandAs senior architect to the Miners' Welfare Coimmittee
Item 66 of 711938High House Colliery, pithead baths  AyrshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 67 of 711938Hopetoun Colliery, Pithead Baths  West LothianScotlandAlterations? Further work? - as Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 68 of 711938Mauchline Colliery, pithead baths  AyrshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 69 of 711938Overtoun Colliery, pithead baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 70 of 711938Woodend Colliery, pithead baths  LanarkshireScotlandAs Chief Architect for the Northern Division, Miners' Welfare Commission
Item 71 of 711949Miners' Community Welfare CentreBannockburn StirlingshireScotland 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1McKean, Charles1987The Scottish Thirties: An Architectural Introduction Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Presspp116-7

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no3132 (microfilm reel 25); F no3347 (box 21)